A sharp jerk and the coaches overturned...

Last Updated: Friday, May 28, 2010 - 12:59

Jhargram: "It was pitch dark... when I regained my senses, I somehow managed to scramble out of the coach through the emergency window," said Anil Gupta, who was
onboard the Maharashtra-bound Express train which came under Maoist attack in the wee hours on Friday.

There was a sharp jerk, as the driver braked, and then some of the coaches overturned, another passenger of the Howrah-Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Gyaneshwari Super Deluxe Express which was targeted by Maoists, killing 65 passengers and injuring 200 others, said.

The attack led to derailment of 13 coaches with five of them being hit by a goods train coming from the opposite direction.

According to some of the survivors, just after the train derailed, they heard a "crash like" sound and a goods train coming from the other direction rammed into the coaches which
had overturned on the down line.

Five coaches -- S-4 to S-8 -- were the most-affected with coach-9 having telescoped into the one ahead of it. Four wagons of the goods train also derailed.

"All of us have escaped death," said Jagabandhu Sardar, who along with his wife and three daughters, was travelling in S-6, one of the worst-affected bogies.

"We were sleeping when suddenly we were thrown around. But, all of us managed to come out through the emergency window," he said.

The incident took place around 1.30 am, but "till 4:00 am nobody came to our rescue," said Shaikh Manirudddin, who suffered a head injury.

Belongings of passengers, including their suitcases, bags and shoes were strewn around the site of the derailment.

At least 23 bodies, wrapped in cloth, were lined up by rescuers in the open as search for survivors continued. Dazed passengers, some with injuries, were sitting beside the
tracks.

Rescue workers were trying to enter the overturned bogies using gas-cutters.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee was present at the site as a team of army and railway personnel and of district administration were carrying out the rescue work. People in
large number have gathered from nearby villages around the site.

PTI



First Published: Friday, May 28, 2010 - 12:59

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